What does All Saints’ Day mean to Lutherans? At St. James and in many Lutheran churches, All Saints’ Day is celebrated the Sunday after Reformation is celebrated (the date for Reformation is October 31, so Reformation Sunday is celebrated on or before 31 October).
In our congregation and most congregations, the festival is marked as an time to remember the dead. The names of those who have died from the St. James congregation within the last year are read during worship. While our dead are solemnly remembered during worship on All Saints’ Sunday, the festival is ultimately a celebration of Christ’s victory over death. While the harsh realities of death are acknowledged, hope in the Resurrection and our place in the “communion of saints” should always take center stage.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.” (1 Thess. 4:13-14)